Item Number: 488
Manuscript Leaflet: Surat al-Ṣafāt
Length: 14.0 cm x 20.0 cm
Frame: Dark brown wood
Handwritten leaf of an old Quran manuscript dated 1262 AH (1845 AD) . The text is framed inside a colored border and written with beautiful Arabic calligraphy. The verses are separated with red dots. This 1 leaf with 2 pages represents verses of Surat Al-Saffat (The Rangers). There is significant foxing at the borders and some ink blotches. There is little worming and no damage. The paper's condition is very good.
A Makkan sūrah, al-Ṣafāt is believed to have been revealed directly after Sūrah 6, al-Anʿām. It takes its name from the reference to those ranged in ranks in vv. 1 and 165, both of which refer to the angels. The sūrah can be seen as connected to the previous sūrah in that it tells the stories of several generations or civilizations that were destroyed for rejecting God’s messengers, material upon which readers or listeners are enjoined to reflect in 36:31: Have they not considered how many generations before them We destroyed, such that they return not unto them? After a brief reaffirmation of God’s Oneness and Omnipotence (vv. 1– 5), al-Ṣ āf āt describes the futility of the efforts of those who attempt to obtain knowledge of the Unseen through the jinn (vv. 6– 10). It then chastises the disbelievers for rejecting the Oneness of God, the prophethood of Muhammad, and the Resurrection, warning of the ignominious end they will face in the Hereafter and of the manner in which they will challenge and question one another regarding the fate that has befallen them (vv. 11– 39). This is followed by a description of the rewards God’s sincere servants receive in the Garden (vv. 40– 49) and the exchange they will have with the disbelievers they had known in this world, who are now in Hell (vv. 50– 60). A description of the punishments in the form of food and drink given to the denizens of Hell (vv. 61– 68) is followed by an explanation of their fate (vv. 69– 73). The sūrah then provides accounts of several prophets and the blessings God bestowed upon them: Noah (vv. 75– 82), Abraham (vv. 83– 113, a passage in which the near sacrifice of his son is also discussed, vv. 101– 8), Moses and Aaron (vv. 114– 22), Elias (Elijah; vv. 123– 32), Lot (vv. 133– 38), and Jonah (vv. 139– 48). In these accounts, it is only in the story of Jonah that the people repent (vv. 147– 48); the people associated with all the others are destroyed for having rejected God’s messenger. The discussion of the prophets is followed by a challenge to the worldview of the idolaters of the Prophet Muhammad’s time (vv. 149– 63) and a refutation in particular of the Divine powers they ascribe to the angels (vv. 164– 66). The Study Quran: The sūrah concludes with a final address to the disbelievers and a promise that the Prophet and his followers will triumph, as did the other prophets mentioned in the sūrah (vv. 167– 82).
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